Sun practically gave Google permission to use Java in Android, but that doesn’t mean Google will win


Google and Oracle are back in court today. Today marked the beginning of Eric Schmidt’s latest testimony in a case where Google is being sued for “stealing” Java code for its use in Android, and you bet we’re wanting to hear what he has to say.

Today’s session began with Google’s lawyers asking Schmidt about his relationship with Sun, who was the owner and maintainer of Java while Android was being built (long before Oracle came to sweep them up in 2010).

eric schmidt

Eric Schmidt does not appear to be amused.

The long story short is that Sun was fully aware of Android. They not only acknowledged its existence, but they also celebrated its launch and vowed to throw as much support behind the platform as they could.

Eric Schmidt says the Android team thought many of the APIs they implemented were freely usable without the need to obtain a license from Sun, as the company had been allowing it for the forty years Schmidt has been in the business, including the nearly 2 decades he was with Sun. Oh, and Schmidt was Sun’s first ever software manager and was largely responsible for the development of Java, in case that counts for anything.

But when Oracle’s lawyers took the floor, they looked to point out that a need for a license did exist, whether Sun cared to enforce them at the time or not. That much is true, and no one can argue with that. Schmidt was grilled about Google’s use of licenses which lay out strict rules that many of their customers have to agree to.

From Ars Technica’s account, It was basically a long-winded discussion about hypocrisy. That’s beside the point, though.

The point is, despite whatever relationship Sun had with Google and the Android team back at the time, the truth is Google didn’t obtain proper licenses to use Java, and Oracle thinks it’s totally in their right to receive compensation for damages — in the area of $9.3 billion, according to their logic — because of it. We’re likely far off from a conclusion in this big battle, but things are heating up.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

This $15 fitness tracker is the Huawei Honor Band A1

Previous article

The unlocked HTC 10 can work on Verizon with a bit of hacking

Next article

You may also like


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in News